Sharon Stiles suggests a really helpful self-help technique is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
“It involves tapping or rubbing on acupressure points whilst you think about your fear of flying. It sounds very counterintuitive as we are so often told to think positively. However, it can help to change a negative feeling into a positive one.
“A friend of mine actually taught it to someone she was sitting next to on a flight and she went from feeling scared to feeling calm and actually looking out of the window which was something she usually avoided.”
“You can find EFT resources that you can use yourself or visit a practitioner.
“One really simple technique is to rub very gently in a circle on the inside of your wrist, where you would have a wristwatch. Just focus all your attention on rubbing on that point. After a while you should find that you take a deep breath and you should feel calmer. This is an acupressure point that helps to reduce overwhelming feelings and is also good for travel sickness.”
“Focus on the positives that you have to look forward to whilst on holiday… and on the return flight think how nice it will be to get back home!” suggests David Samson.
“Visualisation techniques are an extremely effective technique to ease tension and getting that picture in your mind of you laying on that beach listening to the sound of the waves really helps!”
David Samson recommends avoiding coffee and other caffeine drinks.
"Caffeine in your body makes you feel even more anxious so avoid it! Drink plenty of water instead," he says.
“If you feel more comfortable in a particular part of the plane then try and book a seat,” says Sharon Stiles.
“Let the air crew know if you feel nervous because it helps to know that someone understands that you are nervous and can check up on you."
David Samson adds: “Request a seat that is towards the middle of the aeroplane... the sensations of turbulence are usually much greater towards the rear of the plane.
"Best place to sit for a smoother ride is close to the centre of the plane by the wings. If you are a claustrophobia sufferer, then book an aisle seat and you won’t feel hemmed in.”
“Drink water which hydrates you and avoid alcohol which dehydrates you," advises Sharon Stiles
"You always feel better and can think more clearly when you are hydrated and flying can dehydrate you.”
David Samson says: “Tell the cabin crew when you board the plane that you are a nervous flyer… and also the passengers around you when you sit down.
"It is nothing to be embarrassed about, and by letting those around you know of your fears, you lessen the fear of embarrassment should you become anxious during the flight.”
“Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the airport,” says David Samson.
“Get to the airport a minimum of a couple of hours before your flight time. If you get stuck in traffic on the way or there is any kind of delay, you don’t need to get stressed.”
“Finding out about the technical aspects of flying can help,” suggests Sharon Stiles.
“If you understand what the noises are and how the plane reacts to different parts of the flight then that can help you to feel more comfortable about the flight because you know what is happening.”
David Samson suggests you should treat turbulence as a bumpy car journey.
"The bumps you feel in a car driving along a country lane are considerably greater than most of the turbulence felt on a plane.
"If the flight does become bumpy, it is really important not to tense up but just let your body move naturally with the aircraft movements."
- "Keep yourself distracted during the flight... Listen to music on your mp3 player, read a magazine or a book, do a crossword, watch the film…even if it is not your usual taste!” says David Samson.
“There are various courses that are held for fearful fliers e.g. British Airways and Virgin both have popular Fear of Flying courses,” says David Samson.
“The explanation of how planes work, what causes turbulence, and what are the sounds that are heard during the flight can put someone’s mind at rest.”